Friday, April 17, 2009

(Howard Dean at Union last night)
Schenectady’s Union College’s ambience is human-friendly. The buildings are human-scale, providing an enironment tjhat is conducive to human interaction.
What a contrast to the SUNY-Albany campus and the Empire Mall down the road in Albany.
Union is fortunate that Nelson Rockefeller’s grandiose edifice complex did not infiltrate Union Street.
Howard Dean spoke at Union’s Memorial Chapel last night. The Chapel is one of several attractive buildings surrounding the college’s central square. In front of the Chapel is a plack honoring Union alumni who died in the “great war-1914-18”. It’s an honor of course, but it’s a stretch to call WW I the great war.
Dean filled the Chapel with at least four generations-the millienials, the yuppies, boomers and post-boomers. But he really preached to the choir-the millienials (18-30 yr. olds). Dean believes Obama is the millienials' savior. Obama took the technical tools used by the millienials-the internet, Facebook, MySpace and even the early Twitter, and built networks of support.
The strategy was also employed in Dean’s 50 state ’08 election strategy. Through micro-targeting (marketing), potential Dems. supporters were targeted.
Dean called for the students to combine their internet social sites with their commitment to diversity, fairness and bottom-up organizing. This combination could bring down authoritian governments everywhere, as it did in the former Soviet empire.
Dean spent just a few minutes on health care reform.He favors the inclusion of a public single-payer option in a reform package. But he didn’t elaborate on how this option is being opposed by private insurance interests. I would have liked to see him outline how this option is needed and how the millienials can use their technical tools to guarantee it becomes part of a reform package.
While Dean preached to the millienials, there were also three other generations present. The interests of all these generations may not always be compatible. Millienials are strong libertarians, living in the Now. The issues of interest to the latter groups, such as SS ,Medicare, and retirement security, may be incidental to the y generation.
The millienials are strongly individualistic and independent. They form networks through the internet, but this networking is done alone with a computer or Blackberry.
I would have liked Dean to have urged the building of bridges between the generations..bridges built with motar that would create solidarity, that would have all the generations believing that we are all in this together.